The Gate – November 2000

Pergamum : Home of Physician Galen and Parchement

According to myth, the God of Healing Asclepius, the son of Apollo, was a renown physician. Apollo left him with the physician Chiron when he was a child. As he grew up, Asclepius became such a specialist regarding surgery and curative herbs that he even resurrected the dead. The major domo of the underworld, Hades goes bonkers and complains to Zeus, who mortalizes Asclepius with a lightning bolt. The most famous physician of antiquity, Galen (229-199 A.D.) practiced his curative techniques at the Asclepieum in Pergamum. His work had a big impact in the medical world for the next 1,400 years, whereas the Asclepieium was very similar to modem treatment centers.

Parchment and the Pergamum Library When the Egyptians banned exports of papyrus, the King of Pergamum ordered another material to be found. This was to processed hides called ‘parchment.’ This is supposedly where the name Pergamum comes from. Naturally, this discovery led to the found-ing of the second largest library (200,000 volumes) in the ancient world, behind t h at of Alexandria (500,000). This book depository, of vvhich almost nothing exists today, was constructed by Eumenes II. 100 years later, MarkAntonyprethe Perga-mum Acropolis, vvhich is seen fmm afar at the top of the hill, is just as notable as the öne in Greece. Climb up the narrovv slope and yo u’II see the Athena Sanctuary, and the Tem p les of Athsented this library’s manuscripts to Cleopatra as a vvedding gift. Shipped offto theAlexandria Library, the vvorks a re subsequently lost in a blaze. Say ‘Acropolis1 and Athens comes to mind. Hovvever, ena (jrd cent.B.C.) and Tra-jan (2nd cent. A.D.). There’s also the steepest theater in the vvorld (10,000 seats) as well as the famed Zeus Altar. Almost ali of the reliefs and architec-tural elements are in Berlin.

For your Information…
  • Besides the Red Courtyard, you can see nice structures in the archaeologicat and ethnological museums in Bergama proper.
  • It’s to your advantage to have a car to explore the Asclepieum Treatment Center.
  • You should visit the Berlin Museum i f you wish to see the architectural portions and reliefs o f the Zeus Altar.
  • Bergama Tourism Info Office: 0232 631 28 51
Places to stay in Bergama

Asude Hotel
izmir Asfalti No:93 Bergama Izmir
Tel: 0232 633 3179